A Message from the Pastor - September 9, 2018
I have been praying over all the sad and painful events that came to light over the summer. Namely, the Penn Grand Jury Report, the ex-Cardinal McCarrick situation, and now the open letter from the retired Papal Nuncio. It sickens me and hurts me as a priest and as a Catholic. But I run to Jesus, he is why I am Catholic, not any human person, but the person of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and the graces given to me by the Sacraments of the Church. I ask you to run to Jesus with me, through this, and any moments of despair we may be tempted to have.
As a lowly parish priest, there is not much I can do to solve these big issues, except of course renew everyday the promises I made at my ordination and that were made for me at my Baptism by my parents and godparents and pray and support victims.
One priest hurting an innocent is too many, but I know many priests who are good men of faith who are now in pain, like I am, and I believe as a community we will get through this, because Jesus is with us and he is the Resurrection, so we must move toward him and live in the Resurrection and not in despair.
So I will do what I can to help heal, to pray for conversion, and to renew our lives in Jesus and move forward with him.
As such I am going to do the following, and I invite all of you to join me:
1) Starting on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows ( ) I will be fasting, except on Sundays which is a day of the Resurrection. I will start a special diet that means only one small meal a day, drinking over 80 ounces of water a day, no snacks, and only approved food by my dietitian. The dietitian is a Catholic friend of mine who graduated from Franciscan University a few years ago and lives in Pennsylvania. She helps people lose weight. In my case, I like my shape, round, no doctor told me to lose weight or change my diet, so I will be doing her program not as a weight loss program, rather she has designed it for me as a way of doing healthy long-term fasting. It will be a way of fasting to unite that sacrifice to prayer for the reparation of sin against the most innocent victims of clergy sex abuse. I will do this program from the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows until the Feast of Christ the King.
2) On we will start to pray the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to protect us and cleanse the church of this present scandal. I will be handing out Prayer Cards with the prayer at the end of the Mass on . We will pray it at the end of every Mass for that intention. You can take the cards home and pray it during the week at home with your family to pray for the Archangel Michael to protect your family and the church family as well.
3) In Advent, we will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day- through (now we have Adoration and Wednesday and 1st ). This way we can all come to pray before Jesus and ask for healing, and blessings to follow him.
Most of the recent cases of abuse that have come to light are from many years ago (pre-2002 Dallas Charter of the USCCB and are in Pennsylvania, but one case is too many). The Diocese has a very active plan that has been in place for over 15 years to protect the most innocent and to report issues.
All Volunteers go through background checks and Virtus Training. All Staff go through that as well as ongoing classes and formation. All children in Religious Ed do “Child Lures” which is a program that helps the children protect themselves and process “Stranger Danger” and other issues. All Priests and Deacons of the parish, and any Clergy visiting the parish for ministry of any kind, need an active letter of good standing from the Bishop and their background checks up to date before they minister. All Youth Volunteers go through a program called “Shield” which also works to educate and protect them. There is a Diocese reporting number for abuse and that information is directly turned over the NYPD to investigate as well as an independent Lay Board set up, but not controlled by the Diocese. Plus, on staff at the Bishops office is our Vice Chancellor Jasmine Salazar who is our Victims Assistant Coordinator and Mary Ellen Quinn who runs the Diocese Safe Environment Office. Bishop DiMarzio every year has a Mass for Hope and Healing that is organized by known victims in the Diocese who have asked him to pray with them. Bishop also meets on a regular basis with victims who desire a meeting to talk and pray, and the Diocese pays a lot of money to psychologists and trained councilors to meet and work with victims and their families. So many people, Priest and informed, trained, and dedicated, Lay People, are working very hard as a community of faith to educate and protect everyone. And thankfully there have been very few new allegations of sin in our diocese since 2002. But one is always too many. So, I ask you to join me in prayer and fasting.
Pray for the victims, pray for those who are tasked to educate and protect, pray for priests, pray for our Bishops, pray for the parish, and pray for our church.
Let's Keep Praying for our Young People
Message from the Pastor
God bless you all. I want to welcome you to this website of our parish. We are a Parish in Queens, part of the Diocese of Brooklyn. We are one of four Diocesan Shrines in the Diocese. We are dedicated to St. Gerard Majella because we were the first parish named after him in the United States. We have his relics present in the church 24 hours a day. We also have the relic of St. Gianna Mola and a 2nd class relic of Venerable Fr. Michael J. McGiviney (founder of the Knights of Columbus). Our Church is open from 7:30am to 8pm everyday for prayer.
All are welcomed at the parish. We especially welcome couples who are trying to have a baby, those who recently had a baby, those who are trying to adopt, and those who are having issues with conceiving a baby. Every week we pray a perpetual novena to St. Gerard on their behalf. Please feel free to surf our website, and know that we are praying for you. If you can please drop us a line so we can connect to you and pray for you, via email, Facebook page, or Twitter Page.
Fr Josephjude Gannon
MENSAJE DEL PÁRROCO
Dios les bendiga a todos. Deseo darles la bienvenida a este portal de nuestra parroquia. San Gerardo de Majella es una parroquia en Queens que forma parte de la Diócesis de Brooklyn. Es uno de cuatro santuarios en la Diócesis. El nombre de nuestro santuario es en honor a San Gerardo de Majella. Nuestra parroquia fue la primera en llevar el nombre de San Gerardo en los Estados Unidos. Tenemos sus reliquias en nuestro santuario 24 horas al día. También tenemos las reliquias de Santa Gianna Mola y una reliquia del Venerable Padre Michael J. McGiviney (fundador de los Caballeros de Colón). Nuestra iglesia está abierta desde las 7:30 de la mañana hasta las 8 p.m. para orar.
Todos son bienvenidos a nuestra parroquia. Especialmente le damos la bienvenida a las parejas que están tratando de tener un bebé, las que recién acaban de tener uno, las que acaban de adoptar y las que tienen dificultad en concebir. Cada semana rezamos la novena a San Gerardo por su intercesión. Siéntase libre de navegar por nuestro portal y sepa que estamos orando por usted. Nos encantaría saber de usted, por favor escríbanos para comunicarnos y orar por usted ya sea a través de un correo electrónico o las páginas de Facebook o Twitter.
¡Que Dios le bendiga!
Padre Josephjude Gannon
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